A few weeks ago, my friend in London emailed me a link to a YDN article that opened with “Guys at Yale are bad in bed.” So obviously I read the article. I laughed, I wanted to cry, I stopped and pondered the issue, but I think the greatest thing I got out of the article was an unwavering respect for the girl that wrote it. Who is this Maria Yagoda?
Before the article, Maria Yagoda was just a senior French Major in Calhoun College that wrote a food column for the YDN. Now she is a national (and apparently international) phenomenon. Maria has made it onto websites like Jezebel and BroBible, as well as exploding around the Yale Campus. Regardless of the typical meaning of “sex icon,” that is exactly what Maria is.
HC: So Maria, what inspired you to write this article?
MY: Well, my own experiences of course, but also talking with other girls. Female pleasure is not something often discussed and it is a very important thing to talk about. Especially for girls, sex is more often than not about other things like acceptance or self-esteem. While for the male is almost always purely about pleasure. Besides I wanted to speak out for my girlfriends. There are so many hysterical stories that people need to hear!
HC: What did you hope would come out of the article?
MY: I hoped to just start a dialogue. People need to talk about sex more. I guess the main theme of my article is the importance of communication, even in the context of one-night stands. The whole hookup culture is based on the premise that you don’t owe each other anything. And I think opening up the channels for communication can make the experience more pleasurable for both people.
HC: What sort of reactions did you get?
MY: All the reactions were polarized. There were no neutral ones. I got emails and Facebook messages from both straight and gay males and females.
HC: Do you think that everyone got the point of what you were writing?
MY: Some people did, while others didn’t. A lot of girls were thrilled and so happy that this unspoken issue we all share was finally brought up, while others I feel missed the point.
HC: How so?
MY: Well, this subject matter has an extreme nature, so I approached it with humor and satire. Some people missed that.
HC: What were the negative responses you got?
MY: Clearly this is a very sensitive issue. A lot of males feel that I am placing an unfair emphasis on male performance. But I had to be extreme to get guys to think about it. Others felt I was making personal attacks, and I was like, all the stories are anonymous, suck it up! I made the mistake of going on the YDN website and looking at the comments left there. Some of them were really mean and negative. People were saying, “She’ll regret writing it later when she’s looking for jobs”.
HC: Do you think you will?
MY: Hell no. I’m not trying to wear a pantsuit.
HC: What was the national response?
MY: I know that Jezebel wished it was more feminist focused. But I only had 800 words to use so I decided to not take a subtle nuanced approach. Extremities get people talking.
HC: What’s in store for the future?
MY: I am going to keep writing about sex. I have already had articles about “sexting” and "Morning Etiquette." Also, please let people know that if they have great stories to please e-mail me and I will get the stories out there. Of course, all the stories are anonymous!
I don’t think the question of who someone is can be answered in an article, but I can say that Maria Yagoda is someone we should all take a lesson from. She has something to say and is not afraid to say it. Time after time people just accept things as they are, even if they don’t like it because they are afraid to say anything that will make them stand out from the crowd. Not Maria. Maria confronted an issue that many people feel, but few discuss, and absolutely no one did anything to try and change. Maria is a person of action and courage who has a voice she is not afraid to use. Even if you don’t agree with what she wrote, we are all thinking the same thing: “Damn, that girl has some guts.”